Microsoft Senior Program Manager Interview Questions in Redmond, WA

Updated Sep 2, 2015
24 Interview Reviews

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Senior Program Manager Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

Interview

All day interview loop consisted of a total of 5 people from various teams including Development, Quality Assurance, Management, Partner teams, and Management. The loop is timed, spending no more than 30 - 45 minutes with each person. Some of the questions were technical in nature, others are more scenario-based.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for Microsoft

  1.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 5+ weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in August 2015.

    Interview

    Very slow to set up, had 7 people in the interview loop all asking the same questions about prioritization and how to mitigate. Performed initial phone screen with an individual then came in and had one hour 1:1's with 6 other individuals that were part of the same team.

    Interview Questions

    • How would you mitigate having 2 immediate deliverable's.   1 Answer
  2.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

    Interview

    Hiring at MSFT is fair, well-organized, and it extracts what we need to know from potential new-hires. It may seem grueling to the candidates, but we get about 6 hrs to determine if you are awesome and can help us move the needle.

    Interview Questions

    • In 2005, I didn't know much about replicated systems and how to upgrade a server farm, but now this seems to be common knowledge.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in April 2014.

    Interview

    Fairly rigorous, but expected for a tech company. 6-7 interviewers not counting the phone screening by recruiters. Interview lasts all day and if you get the 6th or 7th interview, it means you made it to the "as appropriate" and your chances are good. Some interviewers tend to come across as arrogant and try to make you feel inferior; avoid those teams and give the recruiters that feedback. I called it quits on one interview loop after meeting an extremely arrogant and egotistical interviewer who frankly stated he was far better than anyone on that team.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you gain consensus?   Answer Question
    • What are the processes for delivering a project?   1 Answer
    • How do you build a backlog?   1 Answer
    • How do you design a service/system?   1 Answer
    • How do you manage your devs?   1 Answer
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  5. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in November 2013.

    Interview

    They flew me to Seattle and put me up in a super nice hotel the night before. We started the interview process at 11 the next day. between 11 and 1 we were taken around the Microsoft campus in Redmond as well as given 10 dollars for lunch at their food court area. The concierge was a pretty cool dude and I was really enjoying myself. After that we had 4 one-on-one interviews with people from microsoft who worked in the positions we were hiring for. Besides having to wait over two hours after to hear if I received an offer, it was a pretty pleasant experience.

    Interview Questions

    • None of the questions were all that difficult and they mostly pertained to what I spoke to them about. With a program manager interview if you are confident and have strong interests in something specific, then steer the interview to a that interest. For example, I have a lot of interest with collaboration in China and whenever I brought that up, they used scenarios that had to do with doing business with China. It was great. The last interviewer asked me to design a calculator, which is a question someone else received in the glassdoor reviews so I would prepare for that one.   1 Answer
  6.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

    Interview

    Back in the day, MS had an high entry bar despite the company's constant need for anyone. These days, expect a bunch of puzzle questions and be prepared to spend the day getting probed.

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (7)  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took a week. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

    Interview

    The overall experience was really good. I've had other interviews with Microsoft and they've all been great. The structure is always the same: First contacted by either hiring manager or recruiter followed by a short phone screen to see if the person and the resume fits. After initial phone screen a "loop" is scheduled with multiple interviews on the same day "on site" at Microsoft. All information about how the loop would work, who I would meet, etc was given in advance. The recruiter and the interviewers were extremely professional throughout the entire process. The Microsoft loop is described in details all over the internet so I will not go into that. I went through six interviews of varying difficulty and details before being handed over to the "asap". Once at the asap I was pretty much told that I had a job if I wanted one and that they really wanted me to join their team - this is probably not general practice so don't expect your last interview to be a "what can we do/say to make you join us"-type of session. Each interview had it's own characteristics, but they all followed the same pattern: ice-breaker for a few minutes, asking about my past experiences, testing technical ability by a problem solving or design open-ended question of some sort, personality evaluation type of questions, and the final 5-10minutes to answer any questions I might have (and yes, I had questions of my own - you should too). I was asked not only "management" related questions. There were a few more in-depth technical "problems" to solve. I did not have to do whiteboard coding, but I did have to design programming APIs and break down and try to explain a real-life client-server based architecture. No questions were really unexpected or shook me out of my comfort zone, perhaps that had more to do with my familiarity by then with the Microsoft interview structure than the actual questions - some might find it difficult and unexpected to have to go into such deep technical details when applying for what is considered to be a management position. There was none of the infamous Microsoft "brain teasers" during this interview (though I've had them in other interviews). Throughout the interview day I had a really good experience. The team was definitely right for me as we "clicked" on most topics, and what turned out to be a seven hour day of interviews felt more like a short lunch - I had fun during the day! The team seemed very enthusiastic about their work and really passionate about Microsoft and the product they worked on and managed to convey that to me through their actions and answers to my own questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Like I said in the above text there was no real unexpected question. The hardest one would probably be the question about designing an API from scratch on a blank whiteboard.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    There is room for negotiating the base salary and the sign-on bonus. There doesn't seem to be any room for negotiation on the other parts.

  8.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Redmond, WA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through other source. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in August 2013.

    Interview

    While I was working at Microsoft as a vendor, a PM with whom I'd worked approached me to ask if I might be interested in applying for a Senior PM position he would be hiring and for which he thought I would be a good fit. I applied online and he indicated to HR that he wanted me in the candidate pool. They scheduled a day of interviews in the form of Lync meetings, which I found tricky because I didn't have the benefit of meeting with the interviewers face-to-face. I made it through the full day of interviews but didn't hear from them for weeks. I pinged my original contact a couple of weeks later and he let me know that the individual members of team with which I'd interviewed couldn't agree on the qualities they were looking for or what they hoped the person in the position would actually do so they couldn't agree that I was the person for the job. Ultimately he let me know that half the team wanted me but the other half were undecided. They opted not to hire the position at all until they could agree on the specifics about the role. I believe they still haven't hired.

    Interview Questions

    • My second interviewer led off by asking me "Which domains do you think we should focus on in our solution?" Given 1) my lack of technical expertise in the area; and 2) that I was interviewing for a management position, I thought that was a pretty tough question to start with.   Answer Question
  9.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA) in May 2013.

    Interview

    Microsoft puts you through an interview loop in which you have 1:1 interviews with at least 3 people and up to 6+. You continue through the interview process as the majority of individuals rate you as a hire. If you get 3 no hires right away then typically your loop will end. If you continue to get a majority of hire ratings then you most likely will end the day with an as appropriate interviewer which is typically someone in higher level management for the role you are interviewing for.

    Interview Questions

    • How do you collaborate with others? What is the most challenging decision you've had to make and how did you come to an answer? What decision have you gotten wrong lately and what did you do to correct it?   Answer Question
  10.  

    Senior Program Manager Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Accepted Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Microsoft (Redmond, WA).

    Interview

    1. Submit dozens (or maybe hundreds?) of applications over several months 2. Contacted for phone screens for maybe 5 applications 3. Two phone screens led to in-person interviews 4. In-person interviews are most of a full day, meeting with 4-6 people for an hour each. 5. They have one last interviewer held in reserve at the end of the day, not on your schedule. If the other interviewers judge you to be good enough, this "as appropriate" person (generally the most senior person, probably the final decision maker) will take time to interview you as well. If you don't meet with this "as appropriate" interviewer, you probably were judged to be not good enough to take time with & won't be getting the job. I imagine there are occasional instances where the "as appropriate" person has a last-minute conflict.

    Negotiation

    I was able to negotiate a little bit on the amount of stock included in the hiring incentives.

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